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September 30, 2022

PNL House lawmaker: Offshore Law cannot be modified through GEO because it is not yet promulgated

National Liberal Party’s (PNL) House lawmaker Virgil Popescu stated on Tuesday that the Offshore Law cannot be modified through Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) since it has not been promulgated yet, and asked PSD to stop petty politicking because this is a serious law.

“The members of PSD have once again demonstrated that they do not put the national interest before their own interests and they disregard rational arguments which, had they been included in the law it would have meant cheaper natural gas for the population and extra revenues to the state budget. I want to remind the two gentlemen that a law can be modified only after it is promulgated by the President, and since the law went to promulgation only on Monday, July 16, I do not see how the Government could issue a GEO amending it today, July 17. I am asking the members of PSD to stop petty politicking, at least on serious issues such as the Offshore Law, and to honestly answer the following question: What do you call a law that hasn’t been promulgated but that you want modified via GEO?” PNL’s Virgil Popescu, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Industries and Services, pointed out in a communique remitted to MEDIAFAX.

He added that even ALDE MPs disagree with this bill, which contains amendments that not even they knew about.

“I notice that liberalism has awakened in the members of ALDE and they admit what the PNL has been saying for several months, that the offshore taxation regimen should be different from the onshore one, that it’s a good thing, ALDE asking that the legislative act should be urgently modified, via ordinance. Moreover, the members of ALDE are telling us that they did not know the final form of this law and they were lied to by the PSD so as to vote for it. As I reiterated, the members of PSD have disregarded any rational argument,” Virgil Popescu added.

The House lawmaker’s reaction comes after Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Vice President Varujan Vosganian expressed on Monday his dissatisfaction with the adoption of the Offshore Law, stating that there was no dialogue between the members of the ruling coalition, the party’s parliamentarians being put “in a delicate situation,” and asking the Government to urgently modify the legislative act.

“Considering that, compared to what we wanted appearing in the law, the text does not fully reflect the will of the lawmaker, an urgent intervention on the legislative act is called for,” House lawmaker Varujan Vosganian (ALDE) stated on Monday in Parliament.

On July 9, the House adopted – as the legislative chamber with the final say on the issue – the bill that establishes measures for natural gas drilling in the Black Sea, with 175 votes in favour, 30 against and 30 abstentions.

Before House lawmakers voted, House Speaker Liviu Dragnea announced that the bill underwent modifications within the committee, so that it will not be adopted in the form already adopted by the Senate. The modifications adopted by the committee and undertaken by the House include the one referring to the share of natural gas production that will be traded on the Romanian market, which was hiked to 50 percent, up from the 30 percent initially stipulated. Likewise, another modification that the committee brought and the House adopted refers to the channelling of the sums collected as royalties and supplementary taxes, which will fuel the special fund established through the ordinance on public-private partnership.


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